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New exercise guidelines encourage more movement, less sitting

Posted at 4:42 PM, Nov 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-13 20:22:31-05

'Move more, sit less' is the recommendation for Americans in new exercise guidelines published on Monday. 

The new recommendation, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that less than a third of men, women and adolescents met the exercise recommendations. 

Nancy Sweitzer, the chief of cardiology at the University of Arizona, says making small changes in how much you move everyday can add up, and incorporating them on a regular basis, so that skipping it feels wrong.

"I have told my patients, 'I want you to walk a couple minutes a day tomorrow. Not exercise for 40 minutes on a treadmill cause you can't go from 0 to 40, and that's a setup for failure,'" Sweitzer said.

According to the recent findings, less than a third of men, women and adolescents meet the standards for moderate to vigorous activity on a daily or weekly basis. Just 26% of men, 19% of women and 20% of adolescents are meeting the standards which costs the US health care system $117 billion each year and leads to about 10% of premature deaths. 

For the first time in a decade, new guidelines tell Americans to move more and sit less whenever possible, doing away with the previous recommendation of 10 minute blocks of physical activity. 

Sweitzer says these new guidelines are realistic and achievable for everyone. 

"The simplicity of them is important, and just the knowledge that any movement is better than no movement," Sweitzer said. "Sitting around is bad for all of us and moving is good."